Workplace Wellness | Bringing Gut Health to the Workplace
Office catering | Company culture | Food & Drink | Sustainability | Healthy food

Workplace Wellness | Bringing Gut Health to the Workplace

On 21 May 2024 by Shannon Saddler

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Eating well in the workplace 

Eating well at work is essential. If companies can support their employees' healthy lifestyles, it's a win-win situation. Employees benefit from improved wellness, and the company benefits from improved productivity from a better-fed team. 

A committed team should be equipped to thrive, and one way of doing that is ensuring access to good food. At Fooditude, we always cook our meals from scratch with fresh produce to keep teams well-nourished. But we wanted to take eating well at work up a notch.


Introducing the Love Your Gut Health pop-up 

Fooditude recently launched a new pop-up called Love Your Gut Health, developed by Chef Michael. 

"What's that all about?" - we hear you say. 

Our Love Your Gut Health pop-up offers diners a chance to build a salad and enjoy a selection of smoothies, all focused on gut health (surprise, surprise). 

Not only is this a chance for diners to eat healthily, but it's also a hands-on way of learning how to eat in a gut-positive way.

So, how does the pop-up work? 

Diners can mix and match their salad bowl to build their own salad. Every ingredient is colour-coded between four categories: 'Antioxidants & superfoods', ' Essential nutrients & minerals', ' Prebiotics, and 'Probiotics'. 

All the diners need to do is note an ingredient's colour label and cross-check it with the chart. If they want to learn more about an ingredient's health properties, they can scan the QR code for bite-size educational insights. 

The results? Diners get creative in building their own salad bowl to taste while considering what it means to eat in a gut-healthy way.


Signage explaining the four nutritional categories of the salad ingredients detailing their gut health properties


Wait! What exactly is gut health? And why does it matter? 

We hear this all the time: 'Listen to your gut' or 'feel it in your gut.' What do we actually mean by keeping it healthy? 

Our guts are the home of millions of bacteria, viruses and other microorganisms called the gut microbiota. Our gut contains a miss mash of good and bad bacteria. 

Depending on our intake, we need to consume the proper nutrition so that the good bacteria can outnumber the bad, leading to a healthy gut. 

Immunity, brain health, and nutrient absorption are three things our gut health can influence, so when you next hear someone say, "Listen to your gut..." - it pays to take the advice literally as well. 

Signs of a healthy gut include comfortable bowels, easy digestion, less bloatedness, consistent energy, improved sleep, and more. The right food can provide a whole range of feel-good health benefits. 

Dr. Ruairi Robertson, PhD in Microbiology, summarises that,

"Your gut and brain are connected physically through millions of nerves, most importantly the vagus nerve. The gut and its microbes also control inflammation and make many different compounds that can affect brain health."

Studies from the "American Journal of Clinical Nutrition" also found that people with higher intakes of omega-3 fatty acids reported lower stress levels. 

Knowing how good health impacts you mentally and physically is like a double win: you feel and think positively about yourself. While stress is not uncommon at work (we've all had one of those days), better gut health choices are a handy way to stay on top of whatever the working day brings. 



CHEF PROFILE | Michael Broad, Development Chef at Fooditude

Chef Michael is the mastermind behind this special pop-up. We asked him to spill the beans about his career, the reason for the pop-up, and some practical gut-health advice. 

Chef Michael had a passion for good food and cooking, which led him to study nutrition at university. After completing his education, he worked for a health and fitness company where he gained expertise in nutrition and gut health. His combined knowledge makes the Love Your Gut Health pop-up a unique and valuable experience.

On top of his education and career in nutrition, Michael takes an interest in keeping fit. Michael is enthusiastic about all things wellness, and is Fooditude's go-to person for balancing a healthy lifestyle. 

We stole Michael from the kitchen for 5 minutes to ask about the 'Love Your Gut Health' pop-up that he developed, Michael commented:

"Gut Health is very on trend at the moment, research keeps coming out about the benefits of eating probiotics and prebiotics. It's great people are starting to take an interest in their own gut health, and I really wanted to develop a food offering that equipped people with the knowledge to improve their wellbeing. I see the office canteen as a unique opportunity for people to learn about which foods can support their healthy lifestyles - the people I've met at client sites have all been incredibly eager to learn more about taking control of their own nutrition."


Chef Michael developing recipes in the Fooditude kitchen 


NUTRITION INSIGHTS | The two big 'P's : Prebiotics and Probiotics

Prebiotics and Probiotics are useful to know about when learning how to feed yourself in a healthier way. These dietary components perform the crucial duties of building and maintaining a healthy build-up of 'good bacteria' and supporting digestion. In short: 

Prebiotics: work as a food source for the gut's microorganisms. High in certain types of fibre.

Probiotics: are known as the 'good bacteria' aids in strengthening the immune system, improves gastrointestinal functions. You'll mostly find these within fermented food.

Chef Michael explains three items on the Love Your Gut Health menu, sharing what makes them specifically supportive of gut health: 

Kefir (Probiotic) - A super effective drink that supports gut health that is a source of phosphorus, vitamin B12, riboflavin. Kefir is great for balancing bacteria and yeast in the gut.

Mixed Seeds (Prebiotic) - Contains soluble fibre to boost a healthy environment for good bacteria, high in omega 3 fatty acids.

Chicory - (Prebiotic) - Good source of inulin, helps stimulate the growth of beneficial bacteria whilst fighting to prevent the bad bacteria from growing.



NUTRITION INSIGHTS | Top tips for better gut health at home

We asked Chef Michael what two pieces of advice he could give us, that might help readers look after their gut health at home. Here's what he had to say: 

"I believe that incorporating easy-to-digest probiotics into your diet is the most effective approach. For instance, replacing yogurt with kefir in your breakfast is an easy substitution. Additionally, it's crucial to get a large variety of fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds. This way, you'll naturally consume various types of fibers, which create a better environment for healthy bacteria to thrive. In general, the more diverse your diet is, the better it is for your gut health!"

"Swap out low-fibre foods for higher fibre alternatives in your diet. It could be as simple as using brown rice instead of white rice, or occasionally opting for sweet potatoes, rather than regular potatoes. Other simple gut-health tips I can suggest are adding a handful of cooked lentils into your bolognese sauce. Eating well for your gut doesn't have to be difficult!"


It's a wrap!

Needless to say, our clients have really connected with the "Love Your Gut Health" pop-up, many diners have provided how useful it has been to learn a little about nutrition during their work lunch break. 

Office catering presents an opportunity for people to explore different ways of eating, from looking after their gut health to trying out new cuisines. As Office Managers strive to create their own 'destination workplace' - it's worth taking a moment to reflect on how the power of food can support your team's success and culture. 


And a little bit all about us... 

Part of Fooditude's ethos that our team live and work by is to "feed people happy" - this goes way beyond simply cooking delicious food. Our menus and food offerings (including our pop-ups!) are designed to provide your teams with the excitement of variety, whilst promoting a healthier and more sustainable way of eating (you can read more about that here). 

Wondering if Fooditude's catering is right for your workplace? Speak to one of our catering experts, who will be able to advise on the right food offering that fits both your workplace culture and your budget.

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